Eat Your Way through Africa
Ask anybody, “What does Africa mean to you?” and you’re likely to provoke a strong response – good or bad. The truth is, Africa is not a continent that plays small or goes halfway, it is bold, unapologetic and wonderfully diverse. The world in a continent, Africa is many things to many people, but ultimately it is home when we acknowledge its significance as the birthplace of civilisation. It is then no wonder that Africa is also the birthplace of cooking: archaeologists have recently discovered the first signs of a cooking fire in a South African cave dating back five million years.
Arguably the world’s first foodies, Africans have millions of years of experience in the kitchen, which explains the distinct and delicious flavours of the continent’s most famous dishes.
Cancel your usual dinner plans, stop making that chicken dish that no one really likes and explore Africa with your taste buds – no passport required.
First stop: take a trip to Ethiopia.
Traditionally made out of iron-rich teff flour, this flatbread is the national dish of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Described as spongy and crêpe-like, injera is best enjoyed with a hearty stew.
Health benefit: Teff flour is gluten-free and a source of calcium, protein and iron.
Try this recipe.
The West African version of paella and the inspiration for jambalaya, jollof rice is a one-pot dish popular throughout West Africa.
To understand the importance of jollof rice, think of it this way: hot dogs are to Americans what jollof rice is to Nigerians.
Find out why this dish is so popular throughout Africa, try this recipe.
You know what they say: if it’s good enough for the Pharaohs…
A traditional Egyptian breakfast consisting of cooked fava beans, garlic and cumin, ful medames is also a popular meal in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, Israel and Palestine. Originating in the Middle Ages, the dish requires patience (to cook the beans) but little effort.
Begin your intro into African cuisine today, try this recipe.
Did you know? The word “medammes” was originally Coptic and translated as “buried” because the vendors put the beans in large containers overnight, which they then buried in the dying embers of the public baths, a practice which is still common today.